May 31, 2021 Casino, Legal, Online

Philippines President aiming for quick passage of online casino tax bill

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Rodrigo Duterte labelled the bill as “urgent”

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte (pictured) has asked lawmakers to pass a bill to set income and gaming taxes on online casinos.

Under a senate bill, offshore gaming operators would be required to pay 5% tax on their gross gaming revenue, with foreigners employed in online casinos and their service providers to pay 25% income tax. The Philippines is currently seeking new revenue sources to lessen debt.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Duterte designated the bill as “urgent,” saying: “We hope that this measure would not only generate the much-needed revenues in the country but also place the industry under stricter government oversight.”

Senator Pia Cayetano recently announced on social media she had sponsored the bill, saying: “I sponsored Senate Bill No. 2232, which establishes the tax regime of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGOs).

POGOs, Cayetano explained, have become a growing industry in the Philippines, generating additional revenues for the government in the past year. She added that POGO collections in 2020 amounted to P7.18bn ($150.6m), 12% higher than the P6.42bn collection in 2019.

Another key feature of the bill, according to Cayetano, involves VAT, where “the service providers servicing offshore gaming licensees cannot be subject to VAT zero-rating.”

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